Archive for the ‘ mobile news ’ Category

2007 – The Year of the Business Model

Each year in the spring 3GSM, the highlight fair of the GSM sector, takes place in Barcelona. This fair brings together all small and large players of the mobile telephony from everywhere in the world. More than 1.200 exhibitors and 55.000 visitors were present at this year’s edition. What are the big trends and what can we expect in the near future?

Trend 1: 2007 – “The Year of the Business Model”
With this quote by the CEO of T-Mobile during his keynote speech on 3GSM, the tone of the 3GSM congress was set. To compensate the downfall of revenue from speech, new money sources will have to be found. This year we will see many experiments with new business models.
Firstly, there are a lot of expectations from social networking tools and user generated content. All large mobile phone groups would love to repeat success stories as those of MySpace and YouTube on mobile platforms. Photo and video sharing services will also quickly appear on mobile platforms. The Belgian/French Moblr is an interesting initiator.
Another certainty is that large players will want their share of the very promising mobile advertising market. The attention is mostly directed to the upcoming market of mobile paying search systems. During the congress in Barcelona, the largest mobile operators gathered to discuss the creation of a common search robot, competing Yahoo! and Google.

Trend 2: Mobile internet and push-email on the rise
In 2006 the mobile operators all over the world have opened their mobile internet environment a bit to ‘off-portal’ content providers. Belgium saw the launch of the PlazZza platform, which allows content providers to advertise their services. In 2007, the mobile Internet will be in the centre of attention for the large internet players such as Microsoft, Google and Yahoo!. They will extend their offer with products that are complementary to their internet services. The recent acquisition of Tell Me by Microsoft illustrates this.
New this year is that more and more internet players will also market ‘on-device’ portals. The new Yahoo! Go Mobile for example was one of the show-offs in Barcelona. These applications can be downloaded and contain the most important functionalities locally. Data transfer over the still slow mobile networks are mineralized and executed in the background. For the consumer, it’s more user-friendly and the costs for the data transfer are lower. It remains to be seen whether such local applications can be effectively divided and sustained for a large group of users and devices.
Lastly, in 2007-2008 we can expect a larger scale of ‘push-email’ applications, mostly directed to consumers. Such applications allow to send e-mail messages in the background to the mobile phone. In the long term, push email will be an important competitor for SMS.

Interactive mobile TV

Trend 3: Mobile TV stays hot
Mobile TV was still strongly present at the 3GSM congress. Mobile TV today still creates a lot of enthusiasm with hardware and telecom providers. TV broadcast is becoming an important feature in the value proposition of the mobile phone of the future. The small screens now give a fantastic resolution. The mobile operators also keep the faith in this opportunity and continue building their broadband and broadcast capacity. Question is whether the consumer is actually waiting for this and whether he is willing to pay extra for it.

A lot is still about to happen in the further development of tomorrow’s mobile multimedia world.

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A day at CeBIT with Angela Merkel

As we arrived at the CeBIT fair in Hannover last Thursday, we were welcomed by nobody less than… German prime minister Angela Merkel!
Or at least, she arrived at the same time… 😉

Thanks to Guido Brockmann (E-mobilo) for having his mobile phone camera near.


Angela Merkel arrives at the CeBIT - click to enlarge

CeBIT opens in Hannover

Yesterday, the world’s largest trade fair showcasing digital IT and telecommunications solutions for home and work environments opened its doors. MobileWeb.be took a group of clients and representatives of the three Belgian mobile operators to the CeBIT in Hannover, Germany.

Where the exhibition used to be known for showing off the latest innovations and future technologies, it’s visibly moving more towards a fair with presentations of interesting but existing products and services. However this can still lead to some very impressive stands, such as those of Deutsche Telekom or O². The different ‘country’ stands delivered a multicultural trade fair landscape. Certain technologies received a lot of attention, such as GPS navigation systems and Voice over IP.

Click on the pictures below to enlarge them.

The MobileWeb group at the CeBIT The MobileWeb group at the CeBIT
The stand of Deutsche Telekom The stand of Deutsche Telekom
The stand of O² The stand of O²
The stand of O² The stand/building of Vodafone
Everything is possible! Tradition and technology merge - The stand of an Indian IT company

Participate in the WK Blabla

To promote their ‘Free Friends’ calling formula, Mobistar is organising the WK Blabla. During this contest, they search for the person that can talk the longest on the phone. The final will be held on Studio Brussel on March 9th. The 10 champions who talk the longest will win a full year Free Friends, as well as a Samsung X510 pack for themselves and 3 friends.

The ultimate winner wins a plane ticket for the duration of his conversation, for example 8 hours of chatting can bring him to New York. He also gets some pocket money for the trip.

Go over to freefriends.be and start your virtual training with coach Marco

This campaign was set up by marketing bureau These Days, who already made successful campaigns for Spotter, Bikkembergs, IJsboerke and Nokia.

Mobistar WK Blabla

3 billion mobile users in 2008

By 2008 no less than 3 billion people in the world will have a mobile phone.
At least that’s what Thomas Ganswindt, CEO of Siemens Communications, announced at the 3GSM congress, the largest telecom event which took place last tuesday in Barcelona.

This would mean that the number of mobile phone users will be the double of the number of users on the fixed phone networks.
Most of those GSM users will be situated in Asia (1,25 billion), followed by Western Europe (518 million), Eastern Europe (361 million), South America (344 million), North America (292 million) and Africa (202 million).

In Western eUROPE the data services will become increasingly important. Siemens wants to play a leading role on the market of wireless networks, introducing new products that respond to the new tendancies of the market.

Record sales for mobile phones

In 2006 Belgium saw a record sale of 4,36 million mobile phones, worth almost 600 million euros. That’s 15% more than 2005, which held the previous record of 3,8 million phones.
This was announced in De Tijd, based on statistics of market researcher GfK. Since there are about 9,5 million mobile phone numbers in Belgium, nearly half of those users bought a new phone in 2006. Although this is an impressive number, the Belgian growth is low compared to international sales. Worldwide almost 1 billion phones were sold, which is a rise of a staggering 23% compared to 2005. This growth is largely caused by upcoming markets such as India, Brasil and Africa. Low-cost mobile phones are definitely on a rise. Almost half of the sold mobiles were priced less than 100 euro. On the other hand, the clamp shell models are becoming more popular than the simple rectangular ones. Mobiles with camera are becoming more and more common, and 26% of the mobiles contains a MP3 player. UMTS is still an unknown and therefor unpopular technology.

Record sales for mobile phones

Mobile phone soon free with advertising?

The mobile operator Vodafone starts a test in England in which Yahoo! will deliver image advertising for the mobile Internet. In return, mobile surfers will receive reduction on their data costs. Google boss Eric Schmidt thinks that in the long term, mobile phones can become free by publicity. Recent research by the IAB and Insites has shown that also mobile users in Belgium are open to the idea of receiving mobile advertising in return for a reduction on their invoice. Will the mobile phone soon be completely subsidized by advertising revenue?

Vodafone and Yahoo! are testing together mobile advertising services.

At the presentation of their bi-annual statistics early November 2006, Vodafone announced to start a test together with Yahoo! To make the mobile internet more attractive. In the first half of 2007 the companies are organizing a pilot for both consumers and advertisers.

Advertisers get the possibility to show image advertising on certain parts of the Vodafone mobile data services, such as the portal site Vodafone Live. The telecom company is explicitly keeping the option open to also integrate this advertising possibility in games and mobile TV.

Users that see the advertising receive a reduction on their data costs. However, clients of the mobile provider have to explicitly agree to receive advertising on their phone screen.

Also the Belgian consumer is open for mobile advertising.

Recently IAB Belgium asked Insites to map the Belgian mobile users in the study ‘Belgian Mobile Mapping’. This appreciated initiative brings a first and elaborate analysis of the use of the mobile phone in Belgium as well as the expectations and perceptions of the users.

One of the most striking conclusions is that a third of the Belgians is interested in receiving sponsored information. This can be useful messages content-wise such as traffic information, news items, weather reports or a commercial message such as a reduction coupon.

Phones free by advertising?
The model that is being tested by Yahoo! and Vodafone also seems to exist elsewhere in the internet and telecom branch. Separately from the Vodafone announcement, Google boss Eric Schmidt expresses similar thoughts. Schmidt recently told Stanford MBA students that mobile phones should actually be free of charge. Users of mobile devices should in return accept advertising.

Schmidt assumes that users will soon be using their mobile device 8 to 10 hours a day, to surf, to call, to send sms, to mail and to manage personal data. In this situation a business model based on advertising revenue can be profitable.

But the bi-annual statistics of Vodafone prove that such phone use is still futuristic. On average, Europeans call ‘only’ 150 minutes per month. That is about 5 minutes on average per day, only 1 percent of the amount mentioned by Schmidt to profitably deliver free phones.

Seems that making the mobile phone completely free based on publicity income will have to wait a bit. Focused initiatives to partially subsidize content will soon follow in a Belgian context as well.